The Best Handful of Tips 58 – Helping Mature Adults Learn

The Best Handful of Tips 58 –

Helping Mature Adults Learn

People learn best when they are enjoying their learning and when they are being challenged and entertained by a variety of exercises or competitions.

As we age our hearing, sight and physical reactions decline. Learning can be slower.  Allow extra time when teaching new tasks to adults. There is no lessening of the ability to apply new ideas.   

Five of the best tips to help adults learn new tasks

  1. Get people involved in planning their own training needs

Trainees should be heavily involved in identifying their training needs.  

List topics and let them help select what they need to learn and which topics are the most relevant.

People pick up new skills rapidly if they can see the relevance of them.

  1. Say why new skills are needed

Arouse interest to encourage people to want to learn new skills.

People learn best when they know they need new skills, especially for job advancement,  life enrichment or future security.

 Structure training around tasks relevant to their work needs, to problem-solving, or life situations and experiences.

  1. Make training challenging and enjoyable

People enjoy training games and challenging competitions. Try to make training fun and enjoyable.

Set up teams and let the teams compete for solutions to problems or creative ways to work together. Adults have many years of work experiences to share.

Lecturing is one of the most ineffective way to train, so keep talking to a minimum. Adults learn best by doing and by seeing,  NOT by hearing.

  1. Use a variety of training methods

People will learn more quickly if you use different training ways. Use group discussions, role playing, simulation or problem solving exercises etc. 

Use plenty of good quality visual aids and handouts. (See source books for dozens of training ideas.  “Training Secrets” contains 49 different ways to train.)

  1. Short bouts of learning are better than one long session

Short repetitive training sessions can help reinforce learning.

Practice new skills as soon as possible after learning them.

At each new session review the previous learning before you start as it helps reinforce ideas.

A sense of achievement is one of the most satisfying experiences, and especially achievements in learning.

– Geoffrey Moss

“To maximise your earning power, maximise your learning power.”

Source: “Training Secrets – Helping adults learn”. Available from Moss Associates Ltd, New Zealand & Cengage Learning Asia. Also available as an e-book from

Traning Secrets (Asia and Amazon) Cover


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